Photo: a Hanukkah menorah, brass, first haf of 19th century / JHI collection
The exhibition Small Synagogue at Tłomackie Street (formerly Bejt Tefilla – the House of Prayer) is dedicated to the subject of the synagogue, its most important ritual objects and the people who work there – such as the rabbi, the cantor and the shammes. Every person interested in Jewish religion and culture can attend.
At the exhibition, we present basic equipment of a traditional synagogue. Visitors can see over thirty historical treasures from Polish and German synagogues, saved from the Holocaust. They include ritual objects (such as aron ha-kodesh, parokhet, scroll of the Torah), or items of everyday use (such as keys to the synagogue). The oldest objects at the exibition date back to 18th and early 19th century. They carry the mark of the Holocaust. Despite careful conservation, certain objects have been irreversibly affected by the wartime events. Missing elements of equipment (such as the bimah) have been designed in a modern, simple way, so they don’t compete with historical objects, only complement the interior.
The exhibition will be accompanied by workshops for children and teenagers, as well as lectures for students prepared by the Education Department. The lectures will explain basic notions of Judaism and principles of Jewish ceremonies and festivals. Visitors will be also able to use learning resources: audio recordings with fragments of the Torah, a display with an interactive application allowing to learning more about beit tfila, and educational sheets describing the equipment and functioning of a synagogue.
The exhibition was originally designed in 2000 by Magdalena Sieramska and Robert Lewandowski. On the 70th anniversary of the JHI, the space was renovated and expanded with new elements and learning resources.
The curator of the exhibition is Michał Krasicki (Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute).
The exhibition is located at the third floor of the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, at 3/5 Tłomackie street.